Relapse is arguably one of the greatest threats an addict will face when attempting to overcome their addiction. Once relapse occurs the addict has a much greater chance of overdosing, which is why rehab treatment centers use a variety of methods for relapse prevention. One of these methods is to recognize the warning signs which indicate a relapse is imminent. Here are some common red flags to watch for:
The Recovering Addict Associates With People And Places Tied To Their Addiction
No addict will successfully overcome their addiction if they continue associating with people and places that are known for drug use. The reason for this is because it is inevitable that these associations will create temptation to use drugs, whether inadvertent or not. To succeed a recovering addict must be willing to completely sever ties with people and places that are associated with drug usage, even if it means losing family or friends.
The Recovering Addict Stops Attending Treatment Meetings
Many rehab centers will expect recovering addicts to continue attending meetings for a certain period of time after their formal treatment is completed. For recovering alcoholics this would be 12 Step meetings and recovering drug addicts are invited to attend similar functions. Failing to do so is a classic warning sign that the addict may be slowly slipping back into their previous lifestyle, increasing the chances of relapse. These meetings provide a support network which is crucial to the long term recovery process, and while missing one or two meetings every so often shouldn’t be a cause for concern, a consistent pattern is certainly a warning sign.
The Recovering Addict Has Persistent Mood Swings
Recovering addicts who seem overly moody or irritable could be displaying signs of a potential relapse. While no one is expected to be in a cheerful mood all the time, recovering addicts who have wild mood swings within short time spans, or who seem more depressed than usual are at increased risk of a return to drug usage. The relationships that these individuals have with their family and friends will also become strained.
The Recovering Addict Stops Practicing Good Habits
During rehab recovering addicts will be exposed to a variety of healthy activities which can be used as an alternative to drug usage. Some of these include consuming a healthier diet, exercising regularly or meditating. After rehab recovering addicts who are successful will continue engaging in these activities, but should they suddenly stop for no apparent reason this should be seen as a cause for concern, especially if it is coupled with the other warning signs listed here.
If you or someone you care about is on the verge of relapse, or has already reverted back to using drugs, it is critical for them to receive help as soon as possible. A recovering addict that relapses has a much higher chance of overdosing, which can lead to severe bodily harm or even death. Many rehab centers offer around the clock support, so don’t be afraid to call.